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July 7

Events - July 7
1754 - King’s College opened in New York City. The institution of higher learning admitted eight students and one faculty member, Dr. Samuel Johnson, who also served as school president. These were humble beginnings for a school which would become one of the largest in the United States. King’s was renamed Columbia College in 1784 and, later, became Columbia University. Many prestigious awards come from this university, including the Columbia Award for Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism (named after Joseph Pulitzer, a former Columbia professor).

1862 - The first railroad post office was tested on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad in Missouri.

1885 - G. Moore Peters of Xenia, OH patented the cartridge-loading machine.

1937 - Lou Gehrig hit a two-run home run to lead the American League over the National League 8-3 in the All-Star Game at Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC. Pitcher Dizzy Dean of St. Louis suffered a career-shortening broken toe on his left foot during the game. Ouch!

1943 - For the first time, "Flashgun Casey" was heard on radio. Not much later, the nam of the program was altered to "Casey, Crime Reporter", and became much more popular.

1949 - Jack Webb’s "Dragnet" was first heard on NBC radio this day. The program was the first to dramatize cases from actual police files. Each episode on radio and TV began with the announcement, “The story you are about to hear (see) is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”; and ended with the somber sentence handed down to the criminal. The original sponsor of the radio series was Fatima Cigarettes and, later, Chesterfield Cigarettes. The composer of the original "Dragnet" theme was Walter Schumann, which included “dum-de-dum-dum,” possibly the most famous four-note introduction since Beethoven's 5th. Sgt.

1962 - Orchestra leader David Rose reached the top spot on the popular music charts. "The Stripper" stayed at the pinnacle of musicdom for one week. Rose’s previous musical success on the charts was in 1944 with "Holiday for Strings".

1962 - Race jockey Bill Hartack won race number 3,000. He was riding Big Steve at Arlington Park in Chicago, IL.

1985 - Boris Becker won the Wimbledon tennis title by defeating Kevin Curren 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. Becker became the youngest, the first German and the first unseeded player to win the title in the 108-year history of Wimbledon. Becker was only 17 years old at the time.

1986 - The USA enjoyed great success at the Goodwill Games (in Moscow) as Jackie Joyner-Kersee broke the heptathlon world record with 7,148 points. She was the first woman to crack the 7,000-point barrier. Jackie extended the record that same year to 7,158 points in the U.S. Olympic Sports Festival where she won all seven events of the heptathlon.

1994 - Viacom Inc. was having a very good year. The movie, publishing and sports company bought Paramount Communications Inc. this day for $10 billion. The company that became Viacom was spun off from CBS in the 1970s because of government rules (later repealed), that prevented networks from owning their own programming. Since then, Viacom has grown to become a major player in media and cable, forming the pay channel Showtime in 1978 and acquiring MTV in 1986. On Aug 29, 1994 Viacom plunked down another $8 billion for Blockbuster Entertainment Corp.

1999 - It was the first lawsuit brought by a group of individual smokers to get all the way to the trial stage. And a jury in Miami held cigarette makers liable for marketing a dangerous product that causes deadly diseases (emphysema, lung cancer and other illnesses). The jury held the tobacco industry liable for damages worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

1999 - “Rome is a magic track for me,” exclaimed the new holder of the world outdoor mile record. Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco was in track competition at the Golden Gala Track Meet at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy. His time of 3:43.13 was 1.26 seconds faster than the previous record of 3:44.39 set by Noureddine Morceli of Algeria in 1993. Second place Noah Ngeny of Kenya also beat Morceli’s record as he ran neck and neck with El Guerrouj, finishing at 3:43.40. El Guerrouj shattered the world record for 1,500 meters just one year earlier at the same stadium, running the race in a record 3 minutes and 26 seconds. That record was also previously held by Morceli. El Guerrouj says he hopes to run even faster in the future, lowering the 1500 meter record to 3:24 and the mile to 3:42 or even 3:41. Soon he’ll be running at the speed of light! 2000 - "Scary Movie" opened. Directed by funnyman Keenen Ivory Wayans, "Scary Movie" is a horror-film spoof ("Scream", "I Know What You Did Last Summer", "The Blair Witch Project", "The Sixth Sense", "The Matrix"). If you can get past the strong crude sexual humor, language, drug use and violence, the flick is great fun for the entire family. Most U.S. audiences did manage to get past those drawbacks and spent $42.35 million on the film its opening weekend.

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Birthdays - July 7
1860 - Gustav Mahler (musician, composer, music used in 1971 movie: Death in Venice; died May 18, 1911)

1887 - Marc Chagall (artist: Red Nude Sitting Up, I and the Village, Bride with a Fan, The Cattle Dealer, Jew at Prayer, Bella with a White Collar; died Mar 28, 1985)

1899 - George Cukor (director: My Fair Lady, A Star is Born, Born Yesterday, Love Among the Ruins, The Philadelphia Story; died Jan 24, 1983)

1902 - Vittorio De Sica (director: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Marriage Italian Style, Two Women, The Bicycle Thief; actor: The Shoes of the Fisherman, It Started in Naples; died Nov 13, 1974)

1906 - Satchel (Leroy Robert) Paige (Baseball Hall of Famer: pitcher: Cleveland Indians [World Series: 1948], St. Louis Browns [all-star: 1953], KC Athletics; legend in Negro leagues, thrilling fans with his famous ‘hesitation pitch’; died June 8, 1982)

1911 - Gian Carlo Menotti (Pulitzer prize-winning opera composer: The Consul [1950], The Saint of Bleeker Street [1955]; died Feb 1, 2007)

1915 - Ruth Ford (actress: The Woman Who Came Back, The Lady is Willing, The Eyes of the Amaryllis; died Aug 12, 2009)

1917 - Lawrence O’Brien (former head of U.S. Postal Service; National Basketball Association Commissioner; died Sep 27, 1990)

1919 - William Kunstler (defense attorney: Tom Hayden, Chicago Seven, Jack Ruby, Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Abbie Hoffman, Angela Davis, John Gotti, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman; autobiography: My Life As A Radical Lawyer [1994]; died Sep 4, 1995)

1921 - Ezzard Charles (International Boxing Hall of Famer: world heavyweight champion [1949-51]; bouts: 122: won 96, lost 25, drew 1, 59 KOs; died May 28, 1975)

1924 - Mary Ford (Iris Colleen Summers) (singer w/Les Paul: How High the Moon, Vaya Con Dios, The World is Waiting for the Sunrise; died Sep 30, 1977)

1927 - Charlie Louvin (Loudermilk) (country singer: I Don’t Love You Anymore; w/brother, Ira: My Baby’s Gone, Hoping that You’re Hoping, I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby; joined Grand Ole Opry in 1955; died Jan 26, 2011)

1927 - Doc (Carl) Severinsen (trumpeter, bandleader: The Tonight Show Band, The Doc Severinsen Band; played with Charlie Barnet and Tommy Dorsey Orchestras; owner: trumpet factory)

1940 - Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) (drummer: group: The Beatles; singer: It Don’t Come Easy, Photograph, You’re Sixteen; actor: Candy, The Magic Christian, Blindman, Caveman, Give My Regards to Broad Street; married to actress, Barbara Bach)

1944 - Warren Entner (musician: guitar, singer: group: The Grass Roots)

1945 - Bill (William Edwin) Melton (baseball: Chicago White Sox [all-star: 1971], California Angels, Cleveland Indians)

1946 - Joe Spano (actor: Hill Street Blues, Cast the First Stone, Brotherhood of Justice, American Graffiti, Northern Lights)

1949 - Shelley Duvall (actress: Popeye, Nashville, Roxanne, Brewster McCloud, The Shining, Annie Hall, McCabe and Mrs. Miller)

1950 - David Hodo (singer: group: The Village People: YMCA)

1955 - Joey Scarbury (singer: The Greatest American Hero [Believe It or Not])

1958 - Matt Suhey (football: Chicago Bears)

1959 - Bill Campbell (actor: Dynasty, Moon Over Miami, Gettysburg, The Brylcreem Boys, Once and Again)

1959 - Jessica Hahn (model: Playboy; scandal subject [w/PTL’s Jim Bakker])

1960 - Ralph Sampson (basketball: Golden State Warriors; one of the Twin Towers of the Houston Rockets: Rookie of the Year [1983]; College Player of the Year [1981-83])

1968 - Jorja Fox (actress: C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, Missing Persons, ER, The West Wing)

1969 - Joe Sakic (hockey: NHL: Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche)

1969 - Cree Summer (actress/character voice: A Different World, Inspector Gadget, Tiny Toons, Wild Thing, The Return of Billy Jack; songwriter, singer: LP: Street Faërie)

1972 - Lisa Leslie (basketball: Olympics women's basketball gold medalist: Atlanta: 1996, Sydney: 2000; WNBA: LA Sparks)

1980 - Michelle Kwan (Olympic Figure Skating Champion [silver, 1998]; World Champion [1996, 1998]; U.S. National Champion [1996, 1998]; World Junior Champion [1994])

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - July 7
1948
You Can’t Be True, Dear - The Ken Griffin Orchestra (vocal: Jerry Wayne)
Nature Boy - Nat King
Woody Woodpecker Song - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Gloria Wood & The Campus Kids)
Bouquet of Roses - Eddy Arnold

1956
The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant
Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
Born to Be with You - The Chordettes
Crazy Arms - Ray Price

1964
I Get Around - The Beach Boys
My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small
Memphis - Johnny Rivers
Together Again - Buck Owens

1972
Song Sung Blue - Neil Diamond
Outa-Space - Billy Preston
Lean on Me - Bill Withers
Eleven Roses - Hank Williams, Jr.

1980
Coming Up - Paul McCartney & Wings
The Rose - Bette Midler
It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me - Billy Joel
He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones

1988
Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson
The Flame - Cheap Trick
Mercedes Boy - Pebbles
If It Don’t Come Easy - Tanya Tucker

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they‘d never end...


Comments/Corrections: TWtDfix@440fun.com

Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams


Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
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